The Real Boogie Man: How to Deal With The Hamans in Your Life

The school bell has rung, class is now in session.

Haman the Agagite, was a very important man in his day. He was an official of the Royal King of Persia, Ahasuerus (or Xerxes I). His position was called the Grand Vizier, Second in Command, the King’s most “Trusted Advisor.”

The interesting thing about this “trusted advisor” is that his true intent was to manipulate the King, in order to pursue his own personal agenda.

It was around 473 BC, when Haman’s devious plot began. It all hatched in his mind one day when Mordecai refrained from bowing to him in public. He was appalled by this action because most people bowed when he arrived and exited a room. Haman made a great effort to research Mordecai, and found out that it was against Mordecai’s Religious belief to honor Haman like he would honor God. Haman decided that Mordecai along with those who believed like him, had to be annihilated.

Let us look at 7 truth nuggets that will assist in dealing with this personality type.

  1. Be watchful of those who get deeply offended when things do not go their way – Let me preface this by saying it does not apply to everyone. It is perfectly normal to feel a little disappointed when someone does not agree with you. I am talking about a person whose entire demeanor and behavior pattern changes when you chose to do something other than what was suggested. Haman was used to everyone doing things his way, and when Mordecai did the opposite; he was deeply offended. Deep offense left unchecked generally creates a vindictive person.
  2. Be watchful of those who are quick to befriend and/or fish for information – If you cannot tell the difference between someone who is genuinely trying to get to know you, for you; versus someone who is fishing for information, pray for discernment. Knowing the difference can save you from future headaches, heartaches and pain. Queen Esther and her uncle Mordecai, discerned that Haman did not have good intentions for their people, but did not react straight away; they waited and watched him until God gave further instructions.
  3. Be careful sharing personal business with “The Hamans” in your life – Haman had a nasty habit of listening between the lines, and sharing his interpretation. This is still problematic today. We all can think of someone who will take what is said, twist it and share their own interpretation of it to others. It is for this reason that you do not form judgements about someone you barely know based on another person’s second hand information. King Ahasuerus had a bad habit of listening to Haman without checking his words against the facts. This habit almost costed Mordecai and his entire people their lives.
  4. Be weary of people who are social climbers – Haman was a bonafide social climber. He could always be seen slithering about, like the snake he was, to royals, high ranking officers and political officials. He did this because he knew that if he won the favor of these people, he could manipulate them to push his own political agenda, which was destroying Mordecai and his people. Do not let these people slide under your radar, their aim is to control leadership in order to push their own agenda. Their only concern is for themselves and what they want, instead of what is good for everyone.
  5. Be alerted by people who are consistently negative – Haman had a pretty deceit life, a beautiful family, wife and ten children, was an advisor to the king, had powerful associates and friends, but this was still not enough. He chose to focus on the negative instead of the good things he had. Steer clear of people with a similar disposition. Misery really does love company.
  6. Be watchful of people who always want praise for themselves – There was a part in the story when Haman staged an opportunity to make himself look good, and wanted public recognition for it. Somehow it backfired and the recognition went to Mordecai. Haman was furious. It is human nature to desire a pat on the back occasionally, in order to feel appreciated, but when a person starts doing things only to receive praise, they need to check the “why” behind their actions.
  7. Refrain from revenge – Spoiler Alert – Haman ended up having some of the workers in the castle build a large gallow, so that he could hang Mordecai. The king found out that Haman manipulated him into creating a royal edict to annihilate Mordecai’s people, which also included his queen. The king could not believe he had been so blinded by Haman! He thought Haman was his friend. Haman was a friend as long as he was getting what he wanted. That is also how people with the spirit of Haman operates. They will be ok with a person, as long as things are going their way. As soon as it does not, mark my words, the backbiting, slandering and scheming will began.

Conclusion

Haman ended up being ordered to hang from the very gallows he intended for Mordecai. Mordecai did not have to vindicate himself, God ended up handling everything for him behind the scenes. If you remain faithful as Mordecai and Queen Esther did, He will also do the same for you.

The school bell has rung, class dismissed.

Caution – Do Not Go Ahead of God

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Abraham received five significant promises from God:

  1. Go from your country, your people and your father’s household to the land I will show you.
  2. I will make you into a great nation, and I will bless you.
  3. I will make your name great, and you will be a blessing.
  4. I will bless those who bless you, and whoever curses you I will curse.
  5. All people on earth will be blessed through you. – Genesis 12:1-3

Abraham was 75 years of age when God told him these promises, but as the years passed, Abraham began to wonder if he ever would be a “father”. He and his wife Sarah were getting older and knew it could become more difficult to have children.

Sarah’s Idea

Sarah decided to go ahead of God by arranging for her handmaiden to become a surrogate. Isaac was born from the union. Eventually, God’s promise to Abraham and Sarah came to past and they became parents to Jacob, the promised seed.

Jacob was the one God said would come, but they did not believe it at first. He became the father of the Hebrew Nation, and was extremely blessed.

Takeaway

Do not go ahead of what God has promised you. It will be tempting to try and find your own solutions to your problems, but if He has promised you something, be patient, He will bring it to past.

Creating your own solutions will never be as good as the God’s solutions for you.

Be patient. If Abraham waited, he would have received his promise in a timely manner.

P.S. God’s timing is not our timing.

The school bell has rung, class is dismissed!

How Long Will You Mourn for Saul?

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Background Story

After King Saul’s disobedience to God’s command to destroy everything and everyone from the Amalek Nation, his kingdom was torn from him. King Saul remained on the throne until he committed suicide, but the anointing was no longer on him. He did not care as much, because in his eyes, he was still “King.”

The Prophet Samuel mourned over this day and night until God spoke to him and asked, “How long will you mourn for Saul, seeing I have rejected him from reigning one Israel?” God told him to fill his horn with oil, and go to Jesse, the Bethlehemite; because a new king would be chosen from there.

Real World Connection

Are you mourning over something or someone that God has rejected? Could that be the reason you have not been given instructions for your next steps?

It is quite possible that your next steps will only be unlocked, after you have decided to stop mourning over something/someone that is no longer serving its correct purpose in your life. When I read a passage from the Book of I Samuel, Chapter 16 in the commentary; it pointed out that God would not allow the failure of a man to stop His work, He would appoint someone else in order to ensure that His purpose is carried out.

Takeaways

  1. Follow the example of the Prophet Samuel.
  2. Discern the time(s)There is definitely a time to mourn, the issue was that the Prophet Samuel mourned over someone God had rejected due to their constant disobedience.
  3. Follow instructions – The Prophet Samuel’s next instructions were contingent on his obedience to the command given to him.
  4. Do not be afraid to let go, there will be something better.

The school bell has rung, class dismissed!

The Dark Side of the Web

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Video lists: Dark Agenda Exposed, Childhood 2.0, Mom goes Undercover as an 11 year-old

Objective: The learner will discover the negative effects of social media on the development of young people. The learner will be able to analyze shadow banning, and explain how it affects faith-base content creators. The learner will create a theory explaining why supervision is imperative for young people when using social media.

Dear Parents and Guardians,

As you watch the video(s) below, ask yourself, what is the purpose of these platforms and where do parents and guardians fit into the picture? Please watch with your eyes and your ears, it may help you to create a safer environment for your loved ones in the long run.

The school bell has rung, class dismissed!

Launch Into the Deep and Cast Your Net

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It is human nature for us to want to do things our own way because ultimately, we believe we know what is best for us. This is especially the case in our area of expertises. Did you know that sometimes, even an expert could still use some help?

This reminds me of Simon Peter. He was a Professional Fisherman, who had been doing it most of his life. He knew the proper weather conditions for fishing, and the proven techniques to use in order to catch fish. One day, he was out on his boat with Jesus, on the Lake of Gennesaret, also know as the Sea of Galilee, and Jesus had been teaching from his boat most of the day. After he finished teaching, he told Simon Peter to launch out into the deep, and cast his net.

Simon Peter was a little exasperated by the directive, and replied that he had already been working all night and caught nothing. He also could have been a little upset because he was a Professional Fisherman by trade, while Jesus was a Carpenter. Not to mention, there had been large crowds around most of the day, so the fish were probably scared away.

*Important Point* Have you ever been in this predicament? Felt as though you had been working diligently for, or towards something, only to receive nothing in return? If you have, then you understand how annoying it is for someone, who seemingly knows less than you about the subject, tells you to keep continue trying. If someone is telling you that right now, you have two choices. You can continue trying, or give up. Which one will you choose?

Choose one

Simon Peter decided to try again, and replied saying, “Nevertheless, at your word, I will let down the net.” Choosing to believe Jesus’s word, created an opportunity of abundance. Simon Peter ended up catching so many fish in the net, that it started to break! He had to solicit help from their partners in a neighboring boat. Each boat became so full, they almost began to sink!

Because Simon Peter chose to ignore the obvious and listen to Jesus’s word, he was rewarded with catching so many fish that he couldn’t contain it all. Simon Peter believed the word and not his circumstances.

*Take Away* We can work very hard, and for a long time without ever seeing results, but when Jesus directs our work, the results will be inevitable!

Wellness Tip: Eat and Drink more antioxidants, they protect your cells against free radicals, which may play a role in heart disease, cancer and other diseases. Free radicals are molecules produced when your body breaks down food or when you’re exposed to tobacco smoke or radiation. Foods high in antioxidants.

The school bell has rung, class dismissed.

Hold on to your Pearls

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Wisdom

I came across this scripture and it illuminated in my mind. I decided to read it in the commentary in order to gain a better understanding. It mentioned not to give holy things to the dogs, nor things you hold dear to pigs, because neither will appreciate them.

“If we take our wisdom (like precious pearls) and throw it all around without knowing whether it might fall before dogs (an impure or self-righteous heart) or swine (someone who is considered unclean), Jesus warns us that they will likely tear us to pieces. This means they will twist and distort what is said and then come after us!” Biblestudy.org

There is a time to share, and a time to be silent, lest what you say be misconstrued. Be wise as a serpent, and humble as a dove.

Are these truly my friends?

The school bell has rung, class dismissed!

Hypocrite Meter

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When you hear the word “hypocrite” many images may come to mind. A scheming actor on a soap opera, a politician, or world leader. What does not come to mind is probably the word theater. Yes, I said theater! I remember my surprise learning this information, first semester of my Freshman year in college. Would you believe my first (out of three) declared major in college was Theater? I was quite determined to be on broadway. Starting as a ten year old, I took ballet, tap, and jazz, and as a teenager acted in a few local productions. I got an agent, and I thought I was on my way, lol.

After first semester, I decided to give up on my broadway dreams, be content on the cheer and dance team in college, and change my major again, lol.

I digress, back to the topic at hand, hypocrites. The word hypocrite, simply stands for actor or stage player.

The Greek word itself is a compound noun: it’s made up of two Greek words that literally translate as “an interpreter from underneath.” That bizarre compound makes more sense when you know that the actors in ancient Greek theater wore large masks to mark which character they were playing, and so they interpreted the story from underneath their masks. (merriam-webster.com)

In the past, this word stood for pretense on the stage because ultimately actors were behaving as different characters. It did not gain a negative connotation until the early 1700s, 500 years after its’ original use. When it is heard now, we see it as a person who acts contrary to their beliefs and feelings depending on who they are around.

Anyone who says peer pressure is only a K-12 situation, needs to think again. Peer pressure still exist among adults as well.

Four Examples of Adult Peer Pressure

Friendship – You have a person who you consider a friend or decent individual, but if the group or certain person does not like that person, you feel pressured to start disliking them as well.

Praying over your meal – You have always said grace over your food, but when with certain people, you feel pressured not to do so.

Lifestyle Choices – You uphold certain values that may be perceived as primitive, but when around certain people you feel ashamed of those values and do not want to talk about them in fear of what others would think.

Hobbies – You like doing certain things, but when around certain people you clam up about it, because of being teased before.

These things actually happen in adulthood, and can produce hypocrites if not careful.

Solution

The solution to these issues is to be content.

Be Content

Be content in your choices of friendship – If you are friends with a person, it is for reasons that others may not understand and is between you and that person. If the friendship is true, do not allow other opinions to sway yours.

Be content with your values – If you have conservative values, be proud of that. The people around you will understand if they truly respect you. If made to feel uncomfortable because of your values, consider changing your surroundings.

Be content with lifestyle choices – If you have decided to live according to a certain creed, it was probably for a reason. Do not compromise that for anyone.

Be content with your hobbies – If certain activities bring you happiness, enjoy it! People may not understand why you enjoy it, but our differences are what makes things interesting.

Reflection

Where are you on the Hypocrite Meter?

We have the ability to reflect on our lives, see flaws, and change our behavior. We do not have to behave contrary to our belief system and feelings. We can become people of integrity which is the opposite of a hypocrite.

Being a person of integrity means we reflect on the outside, what is on the inside. Like an integer, we can be whole and complete. We are not perfect, but as the scripture says:

The Challenge

I would like to issue a challenge to myself and others.

Going forward, stop entertaining people that make you feel the need to wear a mask, in order to appease them.

Be yourself. If they do not like it, it is ok. God can and will place like-minded people in your life. Bad company corrupt good character. ~1 Corinthians 15:33

Do not become a hypocrite at the pressure of so-called associates or friends. If they do not like who you are without the mask, they certainly will not care for you with the mask.

Be content. Life is too short to continue worrying about how others feel about you. Spend more energy and time helping those who appreciate it. Do not cast your pearls before swine. This will be the topic of my next post.

The school bell has rung, class dismissed!

Adjust Adapt: Bloom Anywhere

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There are several plants that beat the odds by growing in tough conditions. The conditions could include freezing and hot temperatures. As human beings, we have the ability to adjust and adapt to our environments so that we can grow, or become dry, unresponsive and wither away.

Whether you are in a windy, dry or rainy environment, you can still grow as if you were planted in fertile soil.

Conditions

Think of your environment. Is it adding or subtracting from you? If your answer is adding that is really good, but if it is subtracting, you-can-still-grow.

Conditions and Solutions to Promoting Growth:

Cloudy Conditions

In a cloudy environment, there is a lot of confusion and shade. Do not let it drain you. The solution is to take plenty of notes, have thick skin, and be willing to ask questions. In cloudy conditions, if you stop complaining, and worrying about others; you could focus on finding resources and gaining understanding.

Windy Conditions

In a windy environment, things are ever-changing. One minute things seem to be a one way, and another minute, it is different. Change happens, but when it becomes a habit, it can be a tough. A solution to surviving in this environment is to be flexible and resilient. Do not fraternize with people who continuously complain about the changes, and never offer solutions. It can be tempting to listen, but in the end, valuable time will be wasted, and you will not grow.

Rainy Conditions

In a rainy environment, there is a lot of criticism. Think of the ole adage don’t rain on my parade. That is exactly what occurs in this environment. When a new idea, or possible suggestion is presented, it gets rained on. One solution to this issue is to choose not to be offended, realize that all criticism is not meant to be harmful; some of it actually comes from a good place. Another solution before sharing an idea, is to have a visual of some sort, a presentation or a graphic organizer. This may assist in helping those on the receiving end understand the idea better, and promote growth.

Dry Conditions

In a dry environment, there is not much movement. Resources dry up, and things become stagnant. During this time, people begin to complain about not having what they need in order to make things happen. The solution is to stop focusing on what is not there, and become innovative with what is there. Certain people flourish in a dry environment because they do not allow their present conditions to dictate their actions or outcomes.

All of these conditions play an important role. It takes the adverse conditions of rain (criticism), wind (change), cloud (confusion/shade) and dry (stagnant), to make the flower bloom. We are no different than the flower.

Reflect

Where are you right now? Are you under inauspicious conditions? The good news is that the conditions, do not have to hinder your growth. There is still a chance for you to receive favorable things in an unfavorable environment.

As long as you do not allow the toxicity of complainers to overtake your mind, and stay focus on the solutions provided; growth is inevitable. The only difference in good and bad environments, are the words and actions of the people around you. Stay solid, and the environment around you will either change, or you may be placed inside another one.

The school bell has rung, class dismissed!

Mr. Brian Edkins – Everyone’s Marigold

I have to take the time to remember one of my principals that believed in me during a rough time in my life. I received news of his sudden passing, and immediately went into shock. This is the first principal I have worked for to pass.

When I became a new Teacher in the early 2000s, I had always heard about Mr. Edkins from people who worked with him. During Professional Developments, his staff would always talk about the fun things they did at their school, along the positive School Culture and Climate created in the building. Fast forward to a few years ago, I finally had an opportunity to interview and work for him myself; and was pleasantly surprised to find out that all the good things I had heard were true! He was a such a pleasure. One of the things he did, that I want to share is about the Marigold Effect story. When you work for him, he had a concept of choosing a Marigold of the Month for a New Teacher, Teacher and Support Staff.

To read more on the Marigold Effect click here

The person was chosen based on how many Marigold letters they received each month. A Marigold letter consisted of recognizing when someone on staff did something kind towards you or others, then placed it in a box. The Admin Team would count the letters, and the New Teacher, Teacher and Support Staff that received the most each month would win, and be recognize. Mr. Edkins really did it in style too! Here is a video

Everyone who knew him, knew he was a Master Storyteller, always having a story for any situation! The last time I spoke to him was to let him know I became an Assistant Principal, and he was so happy for me. He is a person who took the time to share with me his journey, encourage and gave advice, mixed in with laughter. He will be missed tremendously. I am praying for his family, friends and all of the lives of those he has touched. “Success, Nothing Less!” “Two claps, and a Ric Flair!” #bnice

Article

Contentment Meter

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Are you content with where you are in life? Have you been taking advantage of the opportunities being afforded to you? How do you react when things are not quite going your way?

Is this you?

These are some of the questions that have been mulling around in my head.

I was a military dependent. For those who don’t know, that is the spouse and/or child of a person serving in the military. I would consider myself extremely comfortable being around all types of people. I have lived in Europe, cities across the United States of America; have resided in small and large cities among many races and cultures. I promise I have a point to this story.

Fast forward to adulthood – I have met many people who are not content in the town they live, quality of life or work situation. It is normal to feel this way from time to time, but should not become a habitual emotion.

The Town and Quality of Life

If you are complaining about where you live, do not allow it to determine your overall happiness. Take advice from me, the place I remember having the most fun was a small town where we had a few stores, and drove 50 minutes to the nearest mall.

Do you want to know why it was fun? It was because of the community we built with those around us. In Proverbs 18:24, it says, A man that hath friends must shew himself friendly: and there is a friend that sticketh closer than a brother.

If you want friends, you have to show yourself friendly to people. It is the relationship built with others, that determine the quality of life in a town. For example, take a large city. There is always a lot to do in a city that never sleeps.

Have you ever lived in a large city? Have you known someone who has, were unhappy and decided to move to a smaller town? My answer is yes to both. A remedy to enjoying yourself in a large or small city, is building a community around yourself. That could include finding hobbies you enjoy, joining a church, an organization, meeting new people and building relationships with like-minded people. It is not about where you live, it is the community you build, that creates a good quality of life for you and your loved ones.

Work Situation

If there is discontentment in the workplace, it could be one of two things. The first thing could be that you are working outside of your capacity, and there is another position and organization better suited for you. The second reason could be that you are being tested, and gaining new skillsets that will help you progress to the next level within your same organization/system.

You have to pray and reflect on which reason fits your situation. There is a solution for both areas: apply and end up switching positions and/or organizations, or be patient and continue applying within the same organization/system until the door opens for the next level.

Our Town

This brings me to a play titled, Our Town by Thornton Wilder. The play was set in the small town of Grover’s Corners. It talks about the different roles people play and how they went through their days. Eventually tragedy hits, and one of the characters passes on and is allowed to come back to earth to relive an experience and chose to come back on her 12th birthday.

According to the synopsis, She joyfully watched her parents and some of the people of her childhood for the first time in years, but her joy quickly turned to pain as she realized how little people appreciated the simple joys of life. The memory proved too painful for her and she realized that every moment of life should be treasured. 

Takeaways

Do you feel discontent with your town, quality of life, or work situation?

Remember the following:

  1. If you want friends, show yourself friendly.
  2. Unhappy with your work situation? Remember it may be a trial, do your best to build your skillset for your next level, or try applying to something completely outside of your current field.
  3. Take the time to appreciate the simple joys of life.
  4. Every moment should be treasured.
  5. Build community around yourself through relationships with like-minded people.

P.S. Your town and contentment is what you make of it.

The school bell has rung, class is dismissed.

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